Alginate Foam

There are numerous biomedical uses for biomaterials made in the form of films, fibers, foams and gels. It is highly desirable that these materials exhibit biocompatibility, and bio-degradability (when required). One such material is alginate. Of particular interest recently are alginate foams. Alginate foams offer many new possibilities for overcoming today’s bio-medical challenges in areas such as: tissue engineering, wound management, anti-adhesion, in vivo/in vitro cell support, medical implants, and controlled drug release in situ.

The new proprietary ultra-pure alginate foams developed by NovaMatrix, are flexible and pliable, yet can be engineered to provide structural integrity, and tensile strength if required. Unlike other foams, alginate foams are biocompatible, do not exhibit handling brittleness, and can be manufactured without the need for expensive equipment, and processes such as freeze drying. Endotoxin levels are low, and the foam may be sterilized using common sterilization techniques.

For example, the alginate foams have several benefits as immobilization matrices. Materials such as drugs, particulates, living cells, etc. can be immobilized within the pores of the foam. For cell immobilization this is a quick and gentle technique; the living cells are immobilized from the start in a three dimensional network. As such they tend to readily proliferate in three dimensions within the foam matrix. To imitate the natural environment for differentiated cells, the elasticity/stiffness of the foam can be modified. The cells can also be readily harvested later for further study, by using chelating agents to dissolve away the foam.

At NovaMatrix we recognize that with such diversity of possible applications, no one foam formulation would be sufficient, nor practical. However, there is high formulation flexibility of our alginate foams and they can be engineered to meet the requirements of specific applications. Among the physical foam properties that can be controlled are pore size, strength, degradation rate, absorption rate, absorption capacity and density. NovaMatrix is capable of working with you to develop an alginate based foam tailored to your specific interest, and application requirements. NovaMatrix foam technology is available for use under license.

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